How to Make Delicious Deep-Fried Turkey in 4 Steps

We've probably all had cousin Jim's or Aunt Hildabeth's bone-dry turkey during the holidays. It sat in the oven for hours, showed up late to the feast and generally left everyone feeling frustrated.

Well, anyone with an aversion to ovens and slow cooking can pull out their thermometers and rejoice. Getting a juicy, golden and delicious turkey only takes about an hour if you use a deep fryer. This method gives you a crispy exterior and a moist, rich interior.

1. Gather the materials

  • 30- to 40-quart deep fryer
  • Peanut Oil
  • 8-10 lb turkey
  • Thermometer
Flickr/Tim Sackton

Choose a bird in the 8-10-pound range to ensure the turkey is cooked evenly. You don't want to burn the skin.

Once you have the turkey home, place it inside of your 30- or 40-quart deep fryer with the plastic packaging still on. Fill the fryer (which should be off at this point) with water until it hits just to the top of the turkey.

Remove the turkey and mark where the water sits in the deep fryer. This mark lets you know how much oil to put into your deep fryer.

Dry out your fryer thoroughly and then fill the vessel with your peanut oil up to the mark.

2. Prep your bird

Now that your deep fryer is ready to purr, you can get your turkey ready for the big day.

Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before beginning this process. Remove all packaging and anything inside the cavity.

Pat the turkey dry with some paper towels to ensure there is no excess water or moisture on the outside. Water and oil don't play very nicely together!

You can add your own personal recipe at this point. If you like a spicy Cajun rub or a sage and butter injection, go for it! You can also keep it simple with a plain, old turkey.

3. Frying frenzy

Heat the peanut oil up to 350 degrees. Check the temperature with your thermometer. Make sure you're doing this outside or in an open space to keep you safe!

Flickr/Kelly Teague

Place your turkey, neck up, onto the turkey holder. Attach the safety hook on top.

Gently lower the prepped turkey into the hot oil holding onto the hook at the top of the turkey holder. Wear a heatproof glove on this step if you have one.

Flickr/Kelly Teague

Remove the hook from the turkey once it is completely submerged in the oil and place the lid on the turkey.

4. Let her cook

The turkey needs to cook three minutes per pound plus about five minutes per bird. That means you'll be frying this turkey for about 30 minutes. The skin should be golden brown and the internal temperature of the bird should be 145 degrees. Always check with a poultry thermometer.

Lift the turkey out using the hook and carefully place onto some paper towels on a hard surface. Let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes and then you're ready to carve in.

Flickr/Upendra Kanda

This quick video tutorial can help:



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How to Make Delicious Deep-Fried Turkey in 4 Steps